Posts Tagged ‘etiquette’

Email Etiquette – Practicing What I Preached

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2011

In a prior blog I detailed a list of how email should be handled in: Email Etiquette, the Good, the Bad and the Ugly.  In the post, I neglected to discuss email and mobile devices.

This past week our company was fortunate in setting up a client with several hundred email and Exchange accounts.  Transferring a few email accounts takes planning and coordination, hundreds takes substantially more!  Quite a few of the users were not running Outlook in the past and many had BlackBerrys, iPhones and Android based smartphones which needed to be synced with the Exchange server.

To assist their staff learning how to use the new email systems, we created videos on several different aspects including setup, email, calendars and shared calendars, tasks and contacts.

It was a long and very rewarding day for our team as our client was very happy with the results.  After the work day ended I sent an email to the head of one of the departments making sure he was happy with the IT and computer services provided to him.  As I was writing this email on my Android based smartphone, the system decided that van should replace can, and I only noticed it when I pressed the send now button.

In a previous post reviewing proper email procedures, I discussed that it is a good idea to sit on an email rather than send it immediately.  Unfortunately I didn’t take my own advice when using my smartphone.  I will in the future.  The lesson is the policies established for computers should also be adhered to for portable devices.

This article was written by The Boss of HITman Services, a computer and IT company, based in Clifton Park and serving the Albany, Troy, Schenectady and Saratoga Counties of New York.

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Email Etiquette, the Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Wednesday, May 25th, 2011

Just recently I received an email from a company who was representing a reputable business organization.  Unfortunately for the business organization, the company representative did not generate good will.  Apparently email etiquette is still not practiced by all.

Implemented properly, email can be a superb tool for businesses.  Incorrectly used, it can cause disastrous problems.  Let’s take a look at some ways email is good and bad; and how we can improve business and personal communication using email.

First, email is not a substitute for a phone call or personal meeting.  Email is impersonal and without careful attention to syntax, can cause ill-will.  All emails need to have a proper subject line; let the person know why you are sending them an email, it doesn’t have to be overly long.

Every email is not a high priority.  If each email you send is set to a high priority status, then it will be treated as if it came from the boy who cried wolf.  Save the use of high priority for those times when it is truly important the email be responded to promptly.

Write the email as if you are being graded, because you are.  While a person may not say what they are thinking, email with spelling errors, grammatical issues and other faux pas do register and are a representation of you.  Use upper and lower case letters where appropriate.  If the email is written in all lower case, it shows the person really doesn’t care.

Email is not instant messaging or texting.  In an email there is no 140 character restriction.  This seems to be a trait by those fairly new to the world of technology and communication.  Use of proper English is always apprectiated.

If it’s important, pick up the phone.  Many times a question can be answered or a resolution found by simply talking to the other person.  If emails keep going back and fourth like a tennis ball, be the adult in the room and call the other party.  Also if the discussion is of a sensitive nature, use the phone, it will be greatly enhance your image.

Stop before pressing the Send button.  Take some time to reflect on your message and make sure it will be interpreted in the manner you hope it to be.  If time is not of the essence, let the email sit in the draft folder overnight, as you may have a new perspective on it in the morning.

If you use Web based email in addition to a program like Microsoft Outlook or Outlook Express, there are some additional steps you should incorporate into your email process.  When sending an email from the Web, use the CC to send the email to yourself.  This provides you with the ability to store the email in the proper Outlook folder when you get back to your desk. You could also move the sent emails from the sent folder.

Remember, an email may last forever!  Don’t put something in an email which may embarrass you or your company.  If you wouldn’t say in on the 6:00 news, don’t put it in an email.

This article was written by The Boss of HITman Services, a computer and IT company, based in Clifton Park and serving the Albany, Troy, Schenectady and Saratoga Counties of New York.

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Not Everything Can Be Nailed

Wednesday, March 3rd, 2010

Maslow’s hammer theory states “When the only tool you have is a hammer, it is tempting to treat everything as if it were a nail.”

So you may be asking what has that got to do with technology?

Well, I think there is a similar tie-in.  Many people use the wrong tool for the job.  Let’s take twitter for instance.  This is a great piece of technology (when it is working properly), which lets people communicate to many very easily.  But just because a business can send out tweets that they are offering a happy hour special, doesn’t mean they should tweet every time someone walks in the door or they order a new drink.

Email is another tool which gets misused quite a bit.  How many times have you sent emails back and forth when a simple phone call would have put the issue to bed in a matter of moments?

Speaking of the phone, there are times when texting makes more sense.  When the need arises to contact someone attending a conference, texting is a great way to let them know they are needed.  It provides a good method of communication while not disturbing others.

And while we’re on the subject of not disturbing others; How about not using technology at all when we’re at the movies?